House Approves Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act

On Thursday the House voted 247 to 176 to approve a bill that will provide new federal funding for stem cell research.

Currently, federal funding for stem cell research is only allowed using embryonic stem cell research lines created on or before August 9th, 2001. The new bill provides a greater amount of federal funding, and also includes language that will require the National Institute of Health to research and develop methods of creating embryonic stem cell lines without destroying human embryos.

A similar bill was shot down in the Senate in April because it did not include provisions to save the lives of the embryos used to harvest stem cells.

Bush, who is now attending the G8 summit in Heiligendamm, Germany, has promised to veto the bill when he returns to the country on Monday.

In an official statement, Bush said, “I am disappointed the leadership of Congress recycled an old bill that would simply overturn our country’s carefully balanced policy on embryonic stem cell research.” He added that under the bill, “American taxpayers would for the first time in our history be compelled to support deliberate destruction of human embryos. Crossing that line would be a grave mistake. For that reason, I will veto the bill.”

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